Zamboanga City wary of presence of new COVID variants

Published May 24, 2021, 10:54 AM

by Liza Abubakar-Jocson


The Zamboanga City Health Office has sent 198 samples from COVID-19 patients to the Philippine Genome Center in Manila to check for the possible presence of COVID-19 variants in the city.

This after the sudden surge of COVID-19 cases which placed Zamboanga City first among local government units with the highest number of active COVID-19 cases two weeks ago.

“It is possible that we have a new variant in the city,” said City Health Officer Dr. Dulce Miravite.

The first batch of 39 samples were sent to Manila on March 25. Another batch was sent earlier this month.

No results have been received as of this time.

During their recent visit here, Health Assistant Secretary Dr. Romeo Ong vowed to follow up the test results in Manila.

The number of COVID cases suddenly soared from 30 on March 19 to more than 700 in a month’s time.

Zamboanga City has 2,386 active cases as of May 21, 2021. There are 9,170 confirmed cases as of the same day.